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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  July 16, 2011 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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>> it killed the time and the space and now we are off to you and done. >> now we still have 10 seconds left. >> i have thrown it back to you. i am not even here anymore. >> you know what, this is over. >> bret: the president and republicans take a break from talking to each other to talk to the public about the debt ceiling. we look at the plan by house republicans to try to get a balanced budget amendment passed. the u.s. gives libyan rebels a huge boost as gaddafi reacts. live from the studio in washington, this is "special report." i'm bret baier. both sides in the debt ceiling debate took the cases to the public today. house republicans said they will hold a vote on their plan next week including a balanced budget amendment. president obama pleaded with lawmakers to set aside politics and self-interest to do what he called some tough stuff. senior white house foreign affairs correspondent wendell goler has the specifics tonight.
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good evening, wendell. >> reporter: good evening, bret. republicans and democrats were both afraid the president would haul them off to camp david this weekend to work on the deficit reduction deal. neither wanted that. they were under orders to meet separately to try to make progress they couldn't seem to make together. in an unprecedented third news conference of the past two weeks, president obama said he hopes for a big deal to reduce the deficit and raise the debt ceiling. he also said what is on everybody's mind. >> we are running out of time. >> reporter: on that, republicans and democrats agree. >> there is no more road left to kick the can down the road. if we don't act in a timely way, bond markets will pistol whip us into doing what needs to be done. >> white house defines "timely" as a week from now. so wide are the differences after five straight days of talks that mr. obama sent the two sides to neutral corners to look where they might find common ground. >> you need over the next 24 to 36 hours to give me some sense of what your plan is to
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get the debt ceiling raised. through whatever mechmisms they can think about. >> reporter: the presidentthed come up with a plan to cut the deficit to reassure the market. with the world's three main credit agencies reviewing american's rating the downgrade would mean higher mortgage interest rate and higher loan on auto loan and credit card. >> which would be a tax increase on everybody. >> reporter: mr. obama said he put cut in social security and medicare on the table, moves that angered some in his base. he says the polls show the public supports raising the tax revenue to cut the deficit in a way that is fair to the poor and middle class. republicans and democrat disagree with the spending cut claims. >> we are at 6.2 trillion, they are at 1.5 trillion at best. that is jeg th just the way it . >> reporter: democrats say it should be raising debt ceiling in exchange for spending cut, not spending cut in exchange for tax hike. republicans in the senate plan
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to vote on balanced budget next week and the president writes it off as a political statement and a cop-out. >> we don't need a balanced budget amendment. we simply need to make these tough choices and be willing to take on our bases. >> reporter: the president says republicans referring to their base missed the will of the majority. this is not the matter of the american people knowing what the right thing to do is, he says, it's a matter of congress doing the right thing and reflecting the will of the american people. bret? >> bret: wendell goler live on the north lawn. thank you. let's drill down a bit on the republican proposal to tie a debt limit deal to requirement that federal books be balanced. here is chief washington correspondent jim angle. >> reporter: disappointed in spending talks in the white house, republicans in the house are embarking on their own effort, promising to cut spending and raise the debt creeling if and only if both houses of congress vote for a balanced budget amendment in the coming days. >> the president wanted a plan, the country needs a plan and this is a serious real plan. >> we are going to bring a
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bill forward next week, otherwise known as the cut cap and balance bill. to provide a balanced approach so we can demonstrate we're getting things under control. >> reporter: the bill would cut spending by $111 billion next year and cap spending going forward. >> making sure that our outlays are less than 20% of our gross domestic product. >> president obama dismissed the idea of a balanced budget amendment. >> we don't need a constitutional amendment to do that. what we need to do is do our job. >> reporter: he did concede the nation needs to get to the point of eventually balancing the budget but the constitutional house were up to seven years for the state to vote on amendment so it's not possible in the next few days. and the president focused on that as a reason to oppose it. >> the notion we're going to go through a multiyear process instead of seizing the moment now and taking care of our problems is a typical washington response. >> reporter: a fox news poll
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finds public supports amendment by wide margin. if it means cuts in social security or medicare, only 31% favor it. 63% against. 62% would turn against it if it meant tax increases. the cup cap and balance plan wouldn't send it to the state. i would require another vote. but many republicans insist cut, cap and balance as a condition for raising the debt ceiling. >> if they want a $2.4 trillion debt ceiling increase or something, i really, really don't want to do, then we have to do something dramatic on the way we spend money in the country. >> reporter: balanced budget committee passed in the house in 1995 and fell only one vote short in the senate. the senate republicans plan to take it up next week, the immediate plan and separate legislation to send an amendment to the state. but that vote would require a two-third majority in both houses. many democrats are likely to oppose. >> bret: more on this with the panel. thanks. stocks posted gains.
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s&p 500 up 7. nasdaq finished ahead 27. consumer prices fell by .2 of a percentage point last month. the first decline in a year. gasoline prices fuel the slide. american automobile factories produce fewer goods in june and overall factory output was flat. the third straight month of weak manufacturerring results. the european bank regulators say the eight institutions flunked stress tests designed to see how they'd fare in another recession. another 16 of the 90 tested barely passed. the weakest banks will be told to strengthen the finances to withstand a default by one of europe struggling economies. witnesses and activists in n syria say they killed 17 protesters in a massive demonstration nationwide. thousands turned out in the capital of damascus as well as flash point cities, such as ham. a major development today and
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n the libya conflict. the u.s. and many allies recognized the opposition as the legitimate government. correspondent leland vittert tells us what it means from misurata where it's just after midnight there. good morning. >> good morning, bret, from libya. this could not come soon enough for the rebels who are on their very last dollars trying to buy food and fuel to continue the revolution. the world hopes that access to the billions of dollars will help the rebels, help themselves, kick gaddafi out. while victory for the libyan rebels is still illusive on the desert battlefield, they won the diplomatic war with 30 countries including the united states, acknowledging them as speaking for libya to the world. >> they will recognize them as the legitimate authority for
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libya and we will deal with it on that basis. in contrast, the united states used the gaddafi reseem as no longer having legitimate authority in libya. >> the 30-member libyan contract group are the nato powers to help with the close air support. the new fighting puts the rebels much closer to getting access to gaddafi's assets frozen by the u.n. still, the dictator is defiant. this type of random destruction is an everyday occurrence in misurata. it gives credence to rebels' claims that gaddafi is bringing forward especially more heavy types of weapons and rockets to fight them and terrorize civilian populations. it goes to show even after four months of nato bombing, still gaddafi has a powerful and feared military. they are advancing on a key oil town of brega. he spoke on radio saying, "trample on the recognition,
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trample on them under your feet. they are worthless." the rents vow to fight on, even if they have to manufacturer their own weapons but hope today's announcement means they will have the money to buy the kind of power fire used on them. the rebels have been saying for months they are just ten days away from marching on tripoli but now there is a hard time frame. ramadan, where muslims fast from dawn to dusk begins at the beginning of august, so if they don't move now, bret, there could be wait until september until they do. emphasize gaddafi's strength after the u.s. recognition. we just had six rockets land a mile-and-a-half from us. back to you. >> bret: stay safe. leland vittert live in misurata early saturday morning. the debt ceiling issue reared its head today in headquarter's election headquarter -- america's election headquarters.
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chief political correspondent carl cameron tells us that president obama used it to deliver a warning to republican. >> reporter: president obama played the 2012 card at the now almost daily news conference on the stalled debt ceiling talks. >> whoever the republican nominee is, we're going to have a big serious debate about what we believe is the right way to guide america forward and win the future. i'm confident that i will win that debate. >> reporter: but the president trails an unnamed generic republican in the latest gallup poll. 47 to 39%. he is pinning his re-election hopes on the independent swing voters with whom gallup says he trails the generic republican 344 to 34%. mr. obama and his party announced raising a combined $86 million in the last three months. on the republican side, minnesota congresswoman michele bachmann who announced at the end of june, put $4.2 million in the bank in
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the few days that remained in the quarter. she raised half and transferred in half from the congressional coffers. that is almost even with former minnesota governor tim pawlenty who raised $4.5 million and spending it with pace-setting $400,000 iowa tv ad buy and 700-mile r.v. tour through 18 cities next week. it's all about a strong showing at the iowa upcoming fox debate and the ames straw poll now less than a month away. but bachmann has inched in the lead in some iowa polls and ron paul often excels in straw polls and has had $200,000 of his own in tv ads running in iowa. businessman herman cain could also be a threat to tim pawlenty who could end up squeezed out in the top three in ames. mitt romney was in new hampshire today. he is competing in the iowa fox debate and his name will be on the ames straw poll ballot but the iowa lead-off caucus are not as important to romney as the first primary in new hampshire where he is spending most of his campaign time. while the former massachusetts governor blasted the obama economy in the mill town of
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merlind. a newspaper sinked him as awkward millionaire unable to connect with real people. gallup says 58% of republicans and right-leaning voters cannot name a favorite 2012 g.o.p. candidate. those getting occasionm mentions include romney and bachmann. rudy giuliani has all but taken himself out of race saying he is not even testing the waters. while sarah palin is doing little to organize a run, texas governor rick perry is working hard at it, bret? >> bret: all right, carl. thank you. speaking of big money, the president has a birthday celebration coming up. but something might get in the way. that's later in the grapevine. up next, trying to keep spying eyes away from pentagon secrets.
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>> bret: a former senior executive with the national security agency was sentenced to probation today for leaking classified information to the media. thomas drake admitted giving a
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newspaper inside information about alleged mismanagement at the nsa but denied giving away secrets. drake was originally charged with multiple felonies under the espionage act and could have faced life in prison. there is speculation tonight about which nation was behind a huge security breach of pentagon computers this spring. national security correspondent jennifer griffin has that story. >> reporter: one day after the pentagon announced a new cyber strategy to defend the nation against high-profile hack attacks that cost the nation $1 trillion in economic losses, admiral mike mullen hinted that the problem may well rest with china. >> they are very capable in the cyber world. it worry a great deal about that. we've got to be able to continue to address those challenges with them. >> reporter: the deputy secretary of defense made bombshell revelation rolling out the strategy this week. 13-page document outlining how the u.s. would respond to a future cyber attack. they announced the pentagon and defense network sustained
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one of the largest attacks to date in march. >> this was significant and it was a defense contractor. data related to systems developed at the department of defense. large, 24,000 files. it was done by we think foreign intelligence service. >> reporter: lynn refused to say which nation but privately pentagon officials concede most prior attacks emanated from russia or china. in may, lockheed martin the largest defense department contractor and maker of the super stealth next generation s-35 joint strike fighter revealed that its computers had been hacked. how will the u.s. military respond to future attacks? >> the president and the congress would treat it as an act of war and respond accordingly. >> reporter: experts say the cyber strategy needs work. >> there has to be an offensive piece of the strategy. there are times we have to use
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deterrence or prevention and we haven't spelled that out yet. >> reporter: for instance, if the chinese or russians are caught stealing files it stay may be considered an act of espionage, not an act of war. the decision will remain in the president's hands according to the new cyber strategy. bret? >> bret: jennifer griffin live at the pentagon. thank you. still to come is carmageddon the end of the world for southern california drivers? but first, apologies over the british newspaper phone
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>> bret: in other words news, iran intelligence minister says his country found a way to block mobile internet devices the u.s. used to bringing a ses to
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dissidents. iran is taking technical measures to combat what is called internet in a suitcase. iran shut down cell phone service and slowed internet connections in the protests over the disputed 2009 presidential election. much older form of communication, newspaper, is at the center of controversy in u.s. and britain. a big resignation and public apology in the phone hacking scandal involving the parent company of this network. senior foreign affairs correspondent ammy kellogg has the latest from london. >> reporter: rupert murdock said he was sorry. it was allegation that news of the world hacked in dowler's cell phone after she was abducted that proved catalyst for the current crisis at news international. >> founder over the company, i was appalled to find out what had happened. i apologize, and i nothing far to say. >> reporter: the meeting was private, called by murdoch.
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the lawyer for the dowlers described the mood of news corp.'s boss. >> i think he was very humbled and shaken. very sincere. i think this was something that hit him on a personal level. >> reporter: murdock is said to have told them that the practices of "news of the world" did not live up to the standard set out when his own father entered the newspaper business. another apology will come tomorrow in british national newspapers with a full-page advertisement by rupert murdock in which he says, "the news of the world was in the by of holding others to account. it failed when it came to itself. we are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred. we are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected." those individuals may include victim of the 777 subway bombings, families of soldiers killed in afghanistan and possibly 9/11 victims. as a result of the scandal, "news of the world" was shut down after last sunday's edition was printed. 200 people lost their jobs but rebecca brooks the woman who
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ran the paper at the time, milly dowler's phone was hacked was still employed at the head of rupert murdock british newspapers there was public pressure on her to go. today she went. in a statement, brooks said as chief executive of the company i feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt. i want to reiterate how sorry i am for what we now know to have taken place." the latest resignation comes from dow jones ceo les hinton a long time news corp executive who ran the british newspaper group in much of the time of the hacking. murdock said he accepted the resignation with a heavy heart saying few people had given more to the cane than les hinton in london, amy kellogg, fox news. >> bret: more on this story with the panel. the astronauts aboard the space station got up a little earlier than they planned today. a bit later, they took an important phone call from earth. correspondent kris gutierrez tells us who was on the other line.
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>> reporter: from the oval office, president obama made a special phone call today. >> hello, this is the international space station. >> that's funny, because i was just dialing out for pits san antonio. i didn't expect -- for pizza and i didn't expect to end up in space. >> reporter: jokes aside, the president thanked the shuttle crew for the work and dedication to advancing science. >> there has been thousands who poured their hearts and souls in the space shuttle program in the last three decades that are following this journey with special interest. and to them and all the men and women of nasa, i want to say thank you. you helped our country lead the space age and you continue to inspire us. >> reporter: during his nine-minute phone call, the president also looked toward the future of manned space flight. >> i tasked nasa with an ambitious new mission to develop the systems and kind of space technology that are going to be necessary to conduct exploration beyond earth and ultimately sending humans to mars. >> reporter: overnight, the crew members on board the space shuttle atlantis, awoke to an alarm that was triggered
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by a computer failure. nasa is still troubleshooting the cause but it took commanderrer chris ferguson roughly 45 minutes to switch operations over to another computer. >> the good news is we have five of them. and each and every one can fly the space shuttle just fine. it's true, we have had, we have had a couple of them that have given us a little hiccup last night. one of them woke us up. >> reporter: this is the second computer issue during the final mission. but nasa does not believe the two problems are related. the shuttle crew is scheduled to return home next thursday. marking the end of a 30-year run of the space shuttle program. now nasa astronauts will rely on the russians to get to the international space station. which will cost roughly $50 million a ticket. in dallas, kris gutierrez, fox news. >> bret: you might not know whether to laugh or cry when you hear the u.s. navy's idea of a serious conversation starter. that's next in the grapevine. and why the big 5-0 might not be a big birthday bash for the president. @@
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my bills are going through the roof. do you know, my medical costs have gone up so much, i can't even afford my prescriptions anymore. you wouldn't leave your grandmother all alone. and i just found out my rent is going up again. yet millions of seniors are on their own, struggling to make ends meet. you should see my utility bills. expenses are soaring. costs are skyrocketing. and don't get me started on the prices at the grocery. but social security checks are too low to help seniors keep up with inflation. i don't think anybody even cares about me anymore. there is hope. the senior citizens league, a nonpartisan group more than one million seniors strong, is fighting for better social security and medicare benefits. for more information, call 1-800-333-8725 or visit the senior citizens league. you're not alone.
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♪ ♪ >> bret: now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine. president ba obama has another incentive to get the debt ceiling deal done. his 50th birthday fundraisers scheduled for august 3 in chicago. one day before his actual birthday and one day after the august 2 deadline.
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a campaign official tells fox big money event could be canceled if a deal is not reached. as it stands, concert is planned with tickets from $50 to $10,000. singer jennifer hudson is rumored to be the entertainment. there will also be a separate dinner which the participants would pay as much as the legal allowable limit of $35,800 per person. in 1995, then president bill clinton held birthday gala it radio city music hall that raraked in $10 million for the democratic party. u.s. navy says a sexual assault awareness poster featured on the official facebook page is not a joke. see what you think. the post e which was created by a feminist blog includes tips such as government you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them." "if you are an elevator and someone gettelfingers in, don't assault them." "don't forget, you can't have sex with someone unless they
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are awake." a navy spokesman says the post should have included more context but that it is encouraged -- intended to encourage discussion on a serious issue. finally, not even a former defense secretary can avoid a t.s.a. security patdown. donald rumsfeld was given hands-on treatment on his way to first lady betty ford's funeral. rumsfeld explained op twitter it takes those of us with two titanium hips and titanium shoulder a bit longer to get through tsa. then link to the tmz story. sticking with transportation now, the little nicknames the media give certain events are sometimes imaginative and mildly amusing. correspondent adam housley report few make the point better than what is called carmageddon in southern california. >> reporter: for motorists it feels like traffic to hell, with traffic clogged on one of the busiest section of freeway in the world.
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>> this is a closer like we have never seen in the area. >> everybody will be impacted. >> july 16 and 17, it will be an absolute nightmare. >> the freeway will be shut down for 53 hours as a $1.3 billion expansion project. southern california is bracing for what is being called "carmaggedon." >> it's a choice that borders on sanity. don't do it. stay the hell away from the 405. >> reporter: a ten-mile stretch of the highway connecting western part of l.a. to the san fernando valley. when completed driver drivers ia new carpool lane can save a minute a mile. >> when the particular 10-mile section of the 405 is completed we'll have the largest car tulle lane in the world. 50 miles. >> reporter: the project and freeway closure has many businesses shutting down or changing hours for the weekend. some, though, are embracing the driving dilemma and hope to capitalize on congestion. >> we are doing the gridlock martini, $3. the road rage cocktail. that is $3.
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and bud stoplights, which is just bud light draft with a cherry in it. stoplight, red. it's all i could come up with. >> reporter: restaurant owner adam milstein say many customers plan to stay home or walk or bike in. >> the general consensus is no one knows what to expect. >> reporter: more than a half million cars use this stretch of fryway on any given day. not only does it link los angeles international airport to north but it's a main thoroughfare to the southern california famous beaches. street signs have been posted 350 miles away warning drivers any trip to southern california this weekend likely won't be a day at the beach. in los angeles, adam housley, fox news. >> bret: if indiana governor mitch daniels has any interest in national office today's news about a state budget surplus will not hurt. indiana finished the fiscal year $1.2 billion in the black. daniels says state workers will now get bonuses of up to $1,000. democrats are still critical of daniels' budget cuts to
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education, and chirp's healthcare. the president and lawmakers from both parties go public with their cases on the debt ceiling. we'll talk about it with the fox all-stars when we come back.
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♪ ♪ 80% of the american people who support a balanced approach. 80% of the american people support an approach that includes revenues, and includes cuts. so, the notion that somehow the american people aren't sold is not the problem. the problem is members of congress are dug in ideologically. >> we ask the president to lead. we asked him to put forward a plan. not a speech. a real plan. he hasn't. we will. >> bret: no meetings today but the president and the speaker of the house, lawmakers actually on both sides of the aisle going to
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the public. the president mentioned that 80% of the american public supports a balanceed approach, including raising taxes. we have three recent polls here. fox news poll, debt limit should only be raised if there are significant spending cuts no tax increases. you can see 48%. with tax increases 41%. now to the gallup poll, similar question. preferences for spending cuts versus tax increases to reduce the deficit, only tax -- only spending cuts 20%. mostly 30%. equally, 32%. there you see breakdown. and quinnipiac phrased it an agreement to raise the national debt ceiling could include spending curts only or also tax increases for wealthy and big corporations. there is where you see the breakdown on the ideology. all 67%, that is closest to the 80% the president mentioned. three polls. where are we? bring in the panel. steve hayes, senior writer for "weekly standard." a.b. stoddard, associate editor of the hill. indicated columnist
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krauthammer -- syndicated columnist charles krauthammer. thoughts on today, a.b.? >> i thought the president gave what is well be considered a cynical press conference. he, if you haven't been paying close attention to this all along, would convince you that he has found 11th hour enlightenment to cuts on mandtory spending and programs like medicare, medicaid and social security. he is not giving details but what he is saying is that the republicans are unbudgeable, they want it my way or the highway. and after the last 72 hours of the republican scrambling on this issue, they have finally made up a plan to vote on this cut cap and balance idea on next weekend. i think it's good. i think during the standoff in april when the government was at risk of being shut down on this year's budget, the house republicans really show the american public they were governing. they threw bill after bill after bill on the house floor and it looked like they were the ones with the plan, trying to keep government open.
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they need to talk about how they are trying to i void default as more and more experts on default start scaring the american people and join in and engage on this. like it or not, i think the president retains the upper hand, politically, and he doesn't if he doesn't have a deal. it's still say what i will say the other day if they give him cuts-only deal, i think he takes it. >> bret: okay. we'll call that the a.b. plan from now on. [ laughter ] steve, the cut, cap and balance plan includes a balanced budget amendment. where do we think votes are on this? where is the big picture on this? >> it's a good question. i think it's an ambitious plan to say the least. it's one of the reasons that it wasn't offered earlier, is because it's hard to get in the house, in the senate, the votes thatth up to two-third needed -- votes that add up to two-third needed for balanced budget constitution. it's worth to make the argument. it would have been worth pressing the case for several months now, but they didn't do that. it feels a little bit like the hail mary i think it is.
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i mean here we are at this point in the negotiations, we have already had mcconnell plan offered as the backup plan. i think what republicans are trying to do is answer the question that a.b. raised. what are republicans for in this context? i think the question, itself, is a little bit fair. is it the case that the republicans have already passed the ryan budget. the republicans have been the one con analysis tempt throughout -- consistent throughout this year that offered ideas. the president has done nothing. he repeatedly punted. betalked about it before. but the fact that they are scrambling to put this together i think suggests that they see themselves in desperate straights. >> bret: charles, there are some on capitol hill who say if a martian landed and listened to that news conference today the president would appear to be the adult in the room, that is pushing for the conciliatory big deal. if they didn't have any context of reexcellents the past couple of years. take a listen to this. it goes also back to april,
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the second piece of sound here. >> i am still pushing for us to achieve a big deal. but what i also said to the group is if we can't do the biggest deal possible, then let's still be ambitious. the fall-back position. the third option and the least attractive option is one in which we raise the debt ceiling but we don't make any prodress in deficit and debt. >> we believe he should move quickly to raise the debt limit and we support a clean piece of legislation to do that. >> bret: "a clean piece of legislation" means no cuts, no deficit cuts, no debt reduction. that is from april. >> the president is born again on this. you're right. if you just landed on earth you would think he was the one who came up with the idea of debt reduction. with debt ceiling increases and the republicans are
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recalcitrant. he did the same, he took same sanctimonious attitude he does all the time, all the time, on all the speeches and all the issues. i'm the unwho acts in the national interest. he said this over and over again today. the republicans are responding to special interest, lobbyists and he put the division, this way. there are those who seem to be trying to get something done, i.z, me. those who seem to be just posturing and scoring political points. that is the way he frames all arguments -- owe guys are acting in bad faith. the way to approach this is call him on that. you showed him the sound bite and what he has with all three options is all of them will go beyond election day. he will not accept any increase in cut that stops short of election.
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the only reason he says that is it will hurt him politically if he goes in an election and has to do it again. i think republicans ought to pass a clean easy bill, without amending the constitution. spending cuts only. the american people will accept it. with a short-term, it could be half a trillion or a few hundred billion to get you in short-term and to dare the president to put the country in default on the basis of i won't accept anything short, i only want something to serve me on election day. >> bret: charles/a.b. plan. >> the abc plan. >> bret: right. abc. what about if the key is the balanced budget amendment, if that is the key to getting passed the house, tying some increase to it, is there any prospect in the senate that a balanced budget gets through? >> well, you could see it passing in the house. it's just in the senate you have to get two-third. you can be -- >> bret: you'd have get two third in both bodies.
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>> right. sorry. but rest assured that the senate majority leader will make sure that there is a watered down alternative for the democrats to get behind. i just don't believe that you are going to see enough democrats abandon their leadership. and give the republicans that victory. they will find a way to come up with another proposal. >> bret: next up, the friday lightning round including libya. question to: do you agree with the obama administration recognition of the libyan opposition as the country's legitimate government. vote in the online poll, home page results after the break.
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>> bret: every week viewers vote in the your choice on the home page. this week, fast and furious
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with 46% of the vote. back with the panel. fast and furious, steve, is the operation in which guns were allowed to essentially walk across the border to mexico, given to criminals. they ended up showing up in dozens of crimes, many murders in mexico, as well as the killing of u.s. border agent brian terry last year. now, there is a new development, in another operation, operation castaway in florida. looks to be similar, the a. t.f. says it's similar but guns going to honduras. >> similar enough for purpose of the washington discussion and that is what matters at this point. the washington discussion. we had indications this week again that more senior administration officials or top-level justice officials not only knew about the existence of the programs but may have in fact coordinated them and helped to conceive of them and run their execution. i think this continues to be a problem for the administration. and unless they can put these
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allegations to rest and do it quickly, this is going to grow and i think spiral out of control for the administration. >> bret: a.b., if we weren't in debt ceiling paloosa it might be covered a little bit more. >> right. it's interesting because the new restrictions that the government is going to place on gun sales to make up for what has happened here and repair this situation are now enraging gun advocates and we have the possibility, gun supporters say it's end run around the congress and say it's possibility that the national rifle association will sue. it will bring issue to this. it's not going away. >> certain n.r.a. will sue if they have a requirement to check on gun dealers, legal gun dealers and report if they sell to someone more than once
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in five days. a terrible operation. they botched this. it was never tracking the weapons. it has to explain what happened rather than putting the onus on gun owners and sellers. >> bret: okay. next up, the news of the world story. rupert murdock, the chairman of news corp. apologizing today to the family, accusation of phone hacking to a girl's cell phone started the news of the world phone hacking story that exploded in the u.k. now in the u.s. with allegation there was phone hacking victims as well. what about the story and where it goes and where it's been? >> the apology was important. the visit that murdock made with the parents important. it was out of the ordinary. it was egregious.
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the british accept culture where politician and celebrity and sport stars and royals are tapped into and the cops are paid. we were amused in '90s when we got all the details of what charles was saying to camilla. but this is different. that is why it's a scandal. apparently there was a lot of this kind of stuff unusual and way beyond the pale. it's an emergency and murdock by accepting the resignations and with a personal apology is beginning the repair work. >> bret: think he sells the british papers? >> i don't know if he will do that but people are dropping. it's largely a british scandal and charles is right. it's more tolerated, better tolerated there than here. if the f.b.i. determined that and finds evidence that 9/11 families had their phones hacked it would be a huge scandal here no longer just be a british
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scandal. >> bret: we have covered this every day. with any developments. we will continue to do so. steve? >> a.b. is right. at this point it's largely a british scandal. as a result of different media cultures that charles mentioned. it's fair to ask and look at whether the 9/11 victims had their phones hacked. if they were, the consequences will be significant. >> bret: two high profile resignations today. before the break, we asked you do you agree with the obama administration recognition of the libyan opposition as the country legitimate government? 16% of you said yes. 84% of you said no. in the unscientific poll. steve? >> this is overdue, in fact, i think it should have happened a long time ago. the question remain what is does it mean in terms of the arms embargo? is it possible now for the opposition to get arms more easily and better mount to fight against the regime? open question. >> bret: a.b.? >> yeah, i think it's hard to be confident that providing the rebels with knowsen libyan
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assets is going to help them break the back of gaddafi's army at this point. if they don't, if they don't soon, i really think the u.s. is going to pull out of this operation in the coming months. >> bret: charles? >> i agree. it's about time. the rebels may not succeed but they will have a better chance if they have access. with funds than if they have no money now. they need to receive weapons and machine and this is a way to start to do it by having them as the recognized regime. >> bret: while there are reports that gaddafi is continuing to feel the pressure he is at least publicly pushing back very firmly. >> like the "saturday night live" line that marshal tito is still dead. we hear the story all the time. see if it eventuates in his resignation or leaving the country. >> bret: this is it for the panel and this friday lightning round but stay tuned to so explainer about big campaign fundraising.
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